Meet Senator Jennifer McClellan
Jennifer McClellan's legislation is signed into law
Jennifer McClellan at the General Assembly
Senator McClellan Meets with constituents
Jennifer McClellan accepting the VEA Legislative Champion Award

Latest News

Feb6

Virginia continues to struggle with issues relating to juvenile justice and student discipline.

In 2015, more youth in Virginia were referred to law enforcement than all other states across the country. While that’s not the case now, the state continues to outpace many others when it comes to the number of youth who are arrested – and end up behind bars.

Feb3

Several years ago, my two-year-old son burned his hand while we were visiting rural Bath County. We had two choices: admit him to the VCU burn unit that day, or wait four days to go to a weekly VCU burn clinic. Without hesitation, we had him admitted to the burn unit immediately. After a three-hour ambulance ride and one-week stay in the burn unit, he came home.

The medical bills totaled about $15,000. We are fortunate enough to have health insurance, so our out-of-pocket cost was only $1,000. Without insurance, we would have been forced to wait four days to get our son treated. His hand could have become infected, or worse. 

For about 240,000 Virginians, this is the dilemma they face: Postpone or forego needed medical care because they can’t afford it and don’t have health insurance. They can’t afford preventative care. They are one illness or accident away from economic devastation. When they get sick or injured, they end up in the emergency room. When that happens, we all pay the price. The cost of that ER visit eventually leads to higher insurance costs for Virginians, and puts a strain on us, our hospitals, and our economy.

Jan31

A group of African-American women called for action Wednesdayon issues burdening the black community, including gun violence, lack of health care and inadequate educational opportunities.

Jan29

Virginia schools refer roughly 16 kids for every 1,000 students to law enforcement. Some of the schools with the highest rates of referral were middle schools.

On Monday, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, joined by Sen. William Stanley, R-Moneta, introduced multiple bills aimed to fix the school to prison pipeline.

Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, introduced two budget amendments to help appropriately fund schools to deal with the issue. The amendments will eliminate the cap on support staff funding from public schools and will provide financial assistance to public schools for alternatives to address behaviors other than suspension.

“If we don’t get this right, if we don’t put our money where our mouth is, we will lose an entire generation of students to the school to prison pipeline,” said McClellan.

Our Newsletters

In addition to my legislative activities, being a member of the General Assembly has afforded me the opportunity to serve on, and now Chair the Virginia General Assembly’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission.  Created in 1992 to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. King, the Commission continues his work through educational, historical and cultural programs, public policy analysis, and public discourse on contemporary issues.  

Now that we have crossed the mid-point of the 2018 General Assembly Session, bills are quickly finding their way to the Governor's office.  On Friday, I was honored to join Senators Bill Stanley and Lynwood Lewis, and Delegate Charles Poindexter in Patrick County for Governor Northam's first bill signing. SB 866 (Stanley) and HB 175(Poindexter) extend the license for Pioneer Community Hospital in order to facilitate efforts to find an operator to reopen the hospital and offer local residents better access to critical health services. 

We have reached the halfway point of the 2018 General Assembly Session, known as “Crossover.”  Tuesday was the last day for the House and Senate to complete work on their own bills. On Wednesday, they began hearing bills that passed the other body.  We have just over three weeks left to address nearly 2,000 pending bills. 

This week I’d like to highlight SB 181 (Stanley), which I co-sponsored, to repeal Virginia’s law mandating automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for failure to pay fines and court costs, which passed the Senate last week 33-6.